27–28 May 2016
A rare UK appearance from the Taipei-based Kandala Records, presenting the irregular landscape of the current experimental music scene in Taiwan with noise, power electronics, free improvisation and leftfield Nakashi.
This two-day residency is part of Formless, a project exploring Taiwan’s experimental music and sound culture, which is organised by Taipei Representative Office in the UK with sponsorship from the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan (R.O.C.), in collaboration with Cafe OTO and Bertha DocHouse. As a related event, the UK premiere of TPE-Tics (2015), a documentary follows the life story of Dawang “yingfan” HUANG by the filmmaker Lin Wan-yu, will be held at Bertha DocHouse (Curzon Bloomsbury) on Thursday 26 May.
Born in 1975, Huang Dawang began as a self-taught bedroom musician in his mid-teens, and left many recordings unreleased. After returning from a five-year-and-half stay in Osaka, Japan, with experiences of sessions and live performances in Kansai, he has been known as the most active figure in the realm of outsider music in Taipei's underground scene, and been invited and commissioned to perform at many events. Among his projects, “yingfan's Blackwolf Nagashi” combines comedy songs and storytelling, which is best known as his lifework. Other joint music projects based on improvisation and power electronics include: the harsh noise duo Taipei Hot Winter; the psychedelic blues trio 'Les forts invisibles'; and the sound recording and improvisation group, Minkoku Hyakunen, for which their 2012 release Project Integration / Intervention Into Tenryu City won the Honorary Mention of Sound Art and Digital Music in Prix Arts Electronica that year. Huang also worked as a performing artist, actor, director, visual artist, writer and translator. He is featured in numbers of films, including TPE-Tics (2015) by Lin Wan-yu which is the first documentary follows his life story. The film will be screened at DocHouse in London on 26 May as a related event.
Xie Zhongqi, a.k.a. Wolfenstein, is a sound artist, computer music composer, and the member of Taipei Sound Unit. He received awards in BIAS Sound Art Exhibition and Sound Art Prize in the Digital Art Awards Taipei in 2006 and later released his debut album Napoleon's Kef in 2009. His lately live recording is included in a split album Cyplosion, with the Chinese sound artist Wang Changcun, released by Kandala Records in 2015.
A young noiser emerged in Taipei’s recent underground scene with his harsh noise approach and nisemusume (girl-like cosplay). He is also a founder of InnerMind Radio focusing on free jazz, improvisation, industrial noise, and psychedelic rock. He has been performed with Japanese noise artists, Motoki Yoshinori and others. His split album with Merzbow (Akita Masami) will be released by Kandala Records in 2016.
Roberto Crippa is a Sound Artist, Composer and Improvisor based in Milan, whose work includes live electronic music and installations investigating the responses of physical bodies to architectural acoustics. His music combines realtime performance on custom analogue oscillators and effect pedals with acoustic sound sources such as zithers, bells and percussion instruments. He has released on We Can Elude Control and Portals Editions.
LEE Shih-Yang is a pianist who has been active in the fields of free jazz, improvisation and avant-garde in Taiwan in recent years. Studied classical piano at age six, Lee devoted himself to composition and improvisation after more than twenty years of classical and conservatory training. He is the founder and co-leader of the improvisation group Ka Dao Yin, and has played with the main bulk of classical and avant-garde musicians in Taiwan. He has performed with Sabu Toyozumi, Fred van Hove, Gene Coleman, Erik R. Lund, Hans Fjellestad and many others. In 2013 he is the first Taiwanese musician being invited to perform at the closing concert of MÉTÉO Festival Mulhouse, France. His latest live album Galactic Alignment with Fred van Hove has won the New York City Jazz Record's Honorary Mention of the New Releases of 2013, and nominated for the “Best Musician” of 5th Indie Music Award. He has performed in Hong Kong Arts Festival, San Francisco Arts Festival and etc.
“for Russell the fingerboard is apparently multiple. He finds new tones in the same place, new relationships in the same gesture. A second trip across the fingerboard is always a different excursion. The harmonic is a transparent sound: silence and ambient sound pass through it. It accounts for Russell’s unhurried pace and his sense of order, even when he’s playing fast: there’s simply so much going on.” - Stuart Broomer, Point of Departure
John Russell got his first guitar in 1965 while living in Kent and began to play in and around London from 1971 onwards. An early involvement with the emerging free improvisation scene (from 1972) followed, seeing him play in such places as The Little Theatre Club, Ronnie Scott’s, The Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Musicians’ Co-Op and the London Musicians’ Collective.
From 1974 his work extended into teaching, broadcasts (radio and television) and touring in the United Kingdom and, ever extensively, in other countries around the world . He has played with many of the world’s leading improvisers and his work can be heard on over 50 CDs. In 1981, he founded QUAQUA, a large bank of improvisers put together in different combinations for specific projects and, in 1991, he started MOPOMOSO which has become the UK’s longest running concert series featuring mainly improvised music.
Based in Kaohsiung the southern Taiwan, Liu’s work concentrates on tonal improvisation and field recordings. His performances are mostly based on the use of varied materials and methods to explore the boundaries of expression of human voice and environment sound. He is also the founder of Cochlea, an online platform and group for promoting sound art and experimental music. He has released two CD albums, Koujie- Koujie and Bathroom Meteorology, in 2014 and 2015.
Zhang You-sheng is a noise artist, organiser and critic based in Taipei. He has been the impromptu guitar player in the band, Jump Off Overpass, during 2003-2007. In 2010 he founded Kandala Records, the music label focusing on noise/avant-garde/improvisation/psychedelic music in Taiwan. He later organised the NOISE80000V festival and a series of performing events concentrate on free improvisation, noise and their collaboration with classic and traditional music. The label has gradually become one of the driving forces behind Taiwan’s avant-garde music scene in recent years. The album Integration/Intervention into Tenryu City (Kandala Records, KRAG02) by Minkoku Hyakunen, a collaboration between Zhang You-sheng and Dawang “yingfan” Huang, received the Honorary Mentions of 2012 Prix Ars Electronica (Digital Music and Sound Art).
Lee Allatson is a drum set player from Leicestershire, UK, specialising in free improvisation.
His early percussive years included classical tuition and a keen interest in 1970’s film soundtracks - all fused within the cultural melting pot of Caribbean, Asian and Eastern European influences provided from a Leicester city education. Moving to vocals and electronics manipulation he developed his experimental edge through free music playing with his regular trio Misterlee and in ad hoc performance opportunities with Damo Suzuki (Can), Paul Dunmall and Wildbirds & Peacedrums. The drum seat has become home once again in recent years and as well as teaching percussion and recording solo drum set works, Lee now regularly plays in several free improvising ensembles with, amongst others: John Russell, Bruce Coates and Christopher Hobbs. Lee also founded and runs the South Leicestershire Improvisors Ensemble.